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Day 21 – Two Boats and Astipalyaia

That’s it, back at base in Kos after 3 weeks on 2 boats and at last achieving our long held ambition of sailing to Astipalyaia. Leaving Vathy on Kalymnos didn’t let us down, with a strong crosswind we had picked up some kind of mooring chain with our anchor but with helpful advice from the shore from Captain Manolis (see the earlier blog about Vathy) we managed to extricate ourselves. The fuel pontoon and parking in Kos marina was also tricky because of the wind but we managed to park with the boat and our deposit unscathed.


During the 3 weeks sailing around the Dodecanese we managed 10 islands, some more than once, including Kos, Kalymnos, Asitpalyaia, Nissiros, Symi, Chalki, Tilos, Lipsi, Arki and Agothnisi. We missed out another 7. Now here’s a funny thing, I thought Greece was the cradle of mathematics but Dodecanese translates as 12 islands so maybe the counting thing got missed out along the way. Never mind, we’re glad the maths is wrong and we still have 7 islands left to see!


Sailing with chums has been fantastic, Bill and I alternated being skipper every other day, we all got on famously (we knew we would) and there were plenty of times having 4 on the boat was pretty useful. Both boats we had were brilliant, and swapping boats wasn’t too much of a phaff. Frustratingly both boats aren’t out next week so we could have rented either for a brilliant deal no doubt, but we have to get back to the UK.


The Dodecanese has been a revelation as a sailing area. Whilst it doesn’t have the wow factor of the Cylades it has plenty of charm and some really beautiful places. It’s other attraction is that there’s no question that it’s an easier sailing area which might become important when we get older and there’s only two of us on the boat.


Places you have to see, whether you’re on a yacht or not?


Symi has to be one of the most beautiful harbours in the world, Astipalyaia lives up the every tourist brochure picture you’ll see of it, Nissiros with it’s UNESCO protected world heritage chora, Nikia, and the Prophet Elias church with it’s panoramic views of the chora and volcano needs more time than the single day we were there, Chalki is a hidden gem and is like a mini Symi. Then there’s all of the beautiful, idyllic tiny but perfectly formed places like Vathy (Vathy of course isn’t an island unless you’re on the 3 island tour, see previous blog), Arki, Tilos and Agothonissi.


Kos was our least favourite island but has the attraction of budget flights from the UK and it’s a great place to start a sailing holiday. If you don’t sail our advice would definitely be to get a low cost flight to Kos and try a bit of island hopping by ferry (they’re like buses in the Greek islands), for sure that’s what we’ll be doing when we can’t sail any more.


Just before I started writing this blog the plane was passing over Patmos (see the piccie below). We didn’t make it to Patmos on this holiday which means the Dodecanese is un-finished business, we will be back.

More soon,


Yamas!


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